What Happens During LASIK Eye Surgery?

LASIK EYE SURGERY PROCEDURE

Despite being one of the most widely performed surgical procedures today, there are still many misconceptions on the actual process of LASIK eye surgery.

So what actually happens during LASIK? How is it different than PRK? And lastly, how does one go from simple curiosity to living without corrective lenses?

What Happens After LASIK Surgery?

What to Expect

Once you’ve considered and chosen your LASIK practice and surgeon, there will be a screening process that follows to determine if you are a suitable candidate. If you are, the next step is to book your procedure.

There is very little preparation that needs to be done on your end leading up to your appointment. If you wear contact lenses, we do ask that you stop for seven days leading up to and including your appointment day.

We also suggest that you set aside two days for LASIK eye surgery if at all possible: one day for the procedure and one day for recovery.

On the day of your procedure, it’s best to drink lots of fluids, eat a nice meal and to relax. Once you arrive at the practice, we’ll do some final testing, finish off the paperwork and then bring you into the laser suite, where your procedure will take place.

LASIK Step-by-Step

Once you are in the laser suite, you can expect the following steps:

  • Your surgeon will ask if you have any further questions and then take time to answer them, if needed.
  • Anesthetic eye drops will be applied to eliminate any discomfort during the surgery.
  • Your surgeon will be sure that your eye is free from any foreign debris such as eyelashes or dust.
  • Using a speculum, your surgeon will gently open your lids and keep them in place for the surgery (your eye will remain moist from eye drops).
  • You’ll be asked to focus on a light.
  • Using an incredibly precise laser method called IntraLase, your surgeon will make an incision in the outer layer of skin on your cornea to create what is known as the “corneal flap;” the flap will be moved aside to allow for the laser to function. At this point your vision will be blurred.
  • Your surgeon will ask you to remain focused on the light and at this point you will hear a clicking sound coming from the laser platform. The clicking is the excimer laser at work reshaping your cornea. This usually takes less than a minute.
  • After the surgeon is finished reshaping your cornea, he will gently fold the corneal flap back to its original location. It very quickly and naturally heals back in place.
  • More eye drops are added to aid with healing and comfort.
  • The speculum is released and you will be asked to sit up and relax for a few minutes.
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And that is it! These steps will be repeated for both eyes. The entire process in the laser suite should take less than 15 minutes.

Following Your Procedure

After LASIK eye surgery, your surgeon will once again check your vision to complete the procedure. We ask that you have someone meet you to drive you home, where we suggest you relax in a room that is not too bright. We also ask that you avoid reading or watching TV for the day, as it can add unnecessary stress to your healing eye.

You should be able to function normally within a day and many people report having clear vision 24 hours after the surgery (although it can sometimes take up to a week for it to be completely clear).

As you can see, LASIK is a relatively straightforward and safe procedure that takes very little time. The resulting vision and lifestyle benefits, however, can be felt for decades!

If you have any further questions about LASIK, how it works or what the benefits are, please ask. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have.